I set a huge PR on Sunday. Not in terms of finishing time—it was my slowest marathon yet—but I had my personal best cheering section.
For further evidence, please watch this video, in which my friends chant my it’s-a-long-story nickname, Lunchbox, as I near the top of the race’s biggest hill. Yes, we made the website of the Burlington Free Press…no biggie.
I was and continue to be a little bummed out about my time (4:04). I realize this is a perfectly respectable time, especially considering the conditions (65ish at the start, 75ish at the finish, sunny with little shade). But I’d never taken more than four hours to finish a marathon. And coming off such a strong performance in Big Sur, I didn’t think it would happen Sunday.
But the heat apparently shut down my digestive system. The gels and water I took in just sat, rock-like, in my stomach. I felt thirsty, under-fueled, and nauseous. By the halfway point, my mantra became, “Get yourself to the finish in good enough shape to go out and eat your share of a Vermonster* later.” And that’s exactly what I did.
The rest of the weekend—in all its kayaking, hot-tubbing, beer-drinking glory—made the trip up to Burlington well worth it. And I was glad to help introduce my marathon-noob companions to the excitement of race day, and to be there for my friend Kiera’s first 26.2.
*Definition, from the Ben & Jerry’s website: “A monster of a sundae – 20 scoops of ice cream, hot fudge, banana, cookies, brownies, and all of your favorite toppings.“